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Pelican ‘live secretly’, as per the Epicurean seclusionist policy

Pelican Lathe Biosas screen cap

Pelican are fucking awesome, you know? I don’t think there are many bands that can really hold a torch to them. Perhaps I’m biased because the sheer wall of sound from their set at the Barfly in Birmingham in 2007 knocked me flat (literally), but nevertheless, they’ve been in fine fettle for many years now, and have barely missed a beat throughout their career, despite a hiatus that only ended last year.

That return was marked by the four-track EP Ataraxia/Taraxis, a phenomenal ~ 20-minute slice of awesome that lightly explored some philosophical themes, particularly those of the notable first-century BC Greek philosopher Epicurus.

Lathe Biosas” was track two from that EP, but the band today released a video for it, over a year after it’s release. Lathe Biosas is roughly translated as “live secretly”; a seclusionist stance in which Epicurus strongly believed, particularly with regards to staying away from politics, which he believed got people into trouble. No shit, dude.

There’s been a bit of a trend with this ‘late videos’ thing lately – Decapitated being the most notable recent band to have done it – but I’m really glad Pelican took the decision to do it, because a) it’s reminded me what a stunning song it is, and b) it’s a very well made video.

The performance stuff is pretty great, showing the band in the crushing element, but the inbetweens are beautifully shot; all fairly regular stuff (cityscapes, traffic, urban crowds) but cinematically so. It also seems to tell a story of a fairly typical-looking metalhead being knocked into a vivid dream by the track proper (which is preceeded by part of acoustic EP opener “Ataraxia“). It takes a turn for the weird, with freaky eyeless people scratching at their faces in a rather disturbing manner, but it doesn’t overwhelm the tranquility of some of the track’s more serene parts.

Pelican are masters of the build, and this track is no exception. There are some gorgeous acoustic parts; really strong and accompanied by some thrumming, brooding atmospherics that really set the tone, and when the main riff kicks in, it really kicks you in the face (so to speak), and as always, they sound absolutely huge.

What’s funny is that Pelican are actually peddling a newer record. They today released a new 7″ EP called Deny The Absolute via The Mylene Sheath, and beyond that are also due to put out a new full-length called  Forever Becoming on October 15th through Southern Lord.

Prolific shit, guys. Good stuff.